is it okay to change the tenses in this particular paragraph?
I would like to thank you for your thoughtfulness in thinking of our family with your lovely dinner. Although we haven't eaten the chicken pot pie yet, we all know how delicious that will be! We have, however, enjoyed the pie all week long.
Your tenses look perfect! There's room for improvement in a couple of other spots, though:
- "thoughtfulness" next to "thinking" is a little awkward/redundant.
- "pie" after "chicken pot pie" is confusing, since you're not referring to the same item.
Here's a revision (taking a guess at the second pie):
I would like to thank you for your thoughtfulness in sending our family such a lovely dinner. Although we haven't eaten the chicken pot pie yet, we all know how delicious that will be! We have, however, enjoyed the apple pie all week long.
|link comment||answered Apr 09 '12 at 21:07 Actually Holly Expert|
Yes, changing verb tense within a paragraph is acceptable, if not mandatory when discussing the past, present, and future in the same paragraph. The trick is to make sure the "order of things" makes logical sense. Sometimes, as in your paragraph, that means being careful to select words that do not confuse the reader.
In your paragraph, you first talk about a chicken pot pie that you have not eated but will in the future. The you talk about a pie (presumably a different pie) that you ate in the past. Because the second pie is ambiguous -- it could be the chicken pot pie -- the switch in tense reads "funny". This can be fixed by describing the second pie as clearly different. An "apple pie" or a "cherry pie".
If the second pie is indeed the chicken pot pie not yet eaten, then your change in verb tense is wrong.
Also, "it will be" or "that it will be" is generally preferred to "that will be."
|link comment||answered Apr 09 '12 at 21:13 Jeff Pribyl Grammarly Fellow|
OK, someone downvoted me, no big deal. I don't care much for the votes. The reason why I wrote what I wrote is to get the person asking the question to think.
Only by thinking yourself the reason why something isn't right will you improve.
|link||answered Apr 09 '12 at 21:18 A Clil To Climb Contributor|
Hero of the day
Person voted on the most answers.